Cool and casual, The Pizza Project promises great pizza at fair prices.
District: Central, Hong Kong
How much: Antipasti ranges between $60 and $110; “Gnocco Fritto” between $65 and $85; pizzas between $70 and $140; and desserts between $30 and $60. All wines are $70 per glass, $220 per carafe or $300 per bottle; cocktails are $60 per glass or $300 for a jug (1 litre)
Must order: Porchetta Tonnata, Nduja Pizza, Carbonara Pizza
The best for: Casual group dining
After the runaway success of everyone’s favourite neighbourhood pasta bar Pici, expectations are high for Pirata Group’s latest Italian foray, The Pizza Project. And, spoiler alert, it doesn’t disappoint. Billed as Pici, but for pizza (and helmed by Pici chefs Andrea Viglione and David Borin), Hong Kong’s newest pizzeria hits the sweet spot between affordable prices and quality bites, complete with a killer wine list to ensure good times all round.
Located on Peel Street, the vibe here is decidedly casual cool. Approachable, relaxed dining is the name of the game, with a focus on the guest experience. Set amidst a cosy 70’s-inspired interior, The Pizza Project takes it back to basics with a tightly-edited one-page menu. Refreshing in its simplicity, expect delicious handmade pizzas alongside a small selection of complementary starters and desserts.
To begin, we sampled a handful of starters from the “Antipasti” range, all of which were perfect for group sharing. The creamy Burrata ($95) and deep-fried Mozzarella Fritta with a pesto dip ($95) were solid choices, though nothing standout. Next time, we’d opt for one of the salad options to offset the gluttony to come.
The “Gnocco Fritto” selection on the other hand is a must-try. A classic Italian treat originating from Emilia in the north, they’re essentially mini pillows of fried bread that are traditionally eaten with cheese and cold cuts. At The Pizza Project, the Gnocco Fritto are adorned with a medley of gourmet toppings, including “Mortadella” with ricotta and pistachios ($65), “Truffle” with ricotta and black truffle ($70) and, our personal favourite, “Porchetta Tonnata” ($85) with tuna mayo and capers in oil. Though fried, these pockets of joy are surprisingly light and work as a great base to balance out the stronger accompanying flavours.
Next, on to the star of the show – the pizza! While we all know that pizza can be hit or miss in Hong Kong, we’re happy to report that these pies get the Sassy seal of approval. Light and fluffy with a crisped-to-perfection crust, The Pizza Project largely sticks to classic flavours done well. Examples include the Margherita ($70), complete with fresh basil and DOP mozzarella, and the Parma ($140) with rocket, parmigiano shavings and fior di latte. We especially loved the Nduja ($100), that comes with a subtle kick thanks to the spicy salami and smoked scamorza.
An honourable mention must go to the Carbonara ($120), one of the pizzeria’s wild card options, topped with pancetta and quail’s eggs. Rich, indulgent and, most importantly, very Instagram-friendly, we predict this will quickly become one of the restaurant’s most talked-about dishes. Just be warned, it’s a little on the heavier side so we’d recommend ordering this to share.
Sassy Tip: Prefer to order something off-menu? Guests can choose from a list of additional toppings and have a custom pizza whipped up for them. There will also be gluten-free options available from March onwards.
Dessert-wise, we couldn’t leave without getting our fix of the Pici Tiramisu ($60). If you know, you know! There’s also a White Chocolate Mousse ($60) with raspberry jam and mixed nuts for any chocolate lovers. Or, if the thought of any more food is too much to bear (no judgement!), The Pizza Project offers Limoncello For Two ($30) as a digestif.
To wash it all down, wine was the order of the day. The Pizza Project boasts an extensive list of over 30 wines, all priced equally to ensure guests can focus on the wine they want to enjoy, rather than the wine they feel they can afford. We recommend consulting with the knowledgable staff if you’re having trouble deciding which to go for!
Our verdict: Much like its sister restaurant Pici, we think The Pizza Project will quickly become a staple in your dining out repertoire. Whether you’re after a casual week-night bite or no-fuss group dining, you can never go far wrong with pizza after all! Add in the modest prices and enviable Central location, we’d say it’s a win-win all round. Our one complaint? It’s walk-in only. But hey, at least that leaves more time for pre-dinner drinks!
The Pizza Project is now open Sunday to Wednesday, 6pm to 11pm and Thursday to Saturday, 6pm to 11:30pm.
Featured image and images 1, 2 and 3 courtesy of The Pizza Project, image 4 courtesy of Sassy Media Group.